Analysts suggest that the recent coronavirus outbreak could provide the gambling industry with a rather unusual opportunity. Instead of the harm, the buzz indicates a potential rise during this period.
The CEO of SpringOwl Asset Management, Jason Ader said that the Coronavirus outbreak could compel the brick and mortar casino operators to move to online gambling if they aren’t already into it. Ader, an analyst and activist investor says that during this global health crisis, the gambling industry should focus on handling problem gambling. This stems from his belief that more people would choose to gamble from their comfort nests now.
With China emerging as the worst affected with over 81k cases reported, Italy having crossed the 9k mark of affected with 450 registered deaths and other countries battling coronavirus, WHO has declared Coronavirus a pandemic. This Tuesday, sources from the UK reported 373 cases with casualties and the number has been rising.
All sports events and activities have been affected. This Monday, it was announced in Italy that all matches scheduled to take place would be postponed till April 3. This announcement came just after the Serie A matches were played behind closed doors in the country last weekend. Ader said that the online sports betting industry was going strong despite the affected cities shutting down.
Ader defended gambling and compared it to alcohol and tobacco stating that gambling was different and that this leisure activity could create a big opportunity for the industry during this phase. He added that gambling faced criticism as the underage users and people with gambling problems indulged more. Ader suggested that this would be the perfect time for the UK regulators to take a stand on such practices and work in unison with the operators to ensure that such incidences of abuse are kept under control.
Ader stated, “The Coronavirus outbreak is a really good opportunity for the industry to remain vigorously focused against underage gaming and problem gambling, and prove to the world it’s socially responsible too.”
Ader said that would be the right time when the land casino operators could choose to start or expand their business online. He also pointed out the challenges gambling enthusiasts would face in coming to the land-based establishments owing to restrictions on travel and quarantine. According to Ader, online gambling has been a star performer when it comes to the industry. He went to the extent of comparing the popularity of online gambling business with that of the companies selling sanitizers, hand gels and face masks, stating that online gambling business ranked just next to these companies.
While the world continues to battle Coronavirus and all sports events including the Olympics (to be held in Tokyo this summer) have been at the risk of postponement and cancellation, Ader is optimistic that the events will get the go-ahead. He expressed his hope on the Olympics starting as scheduled but reinforced that the real event of the summer for the gambling operators would be the Euros and that should start as planned!